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Recapture your sense of creativity.

IAM a great fan of keeping journals. Personal diary-type journals are nice, but what I concentrate on are creativity journals.

These collections of images, ideas and clippings are brilliant for nurturing your creative spark. And we all need that in our lives, whatever our job. There is not a problem that exists that cannot be solved more easily with a bit of creative thinking!

Don't look at journaling as another chore to be completed, but as a way of nurturing yourself.

In our busy world we all need space to be still, listen to our thoughts and reflect upon our lives.

Journaling is also a great thing for busy mums who find their minds a jumble of everyday worries and jobs to be done. In my many roles as wife, mother, teacher, author and artist I find that my mind is crammed with great ideas - but if I don't get them down on paper they are lost forever! My journals also work as a record of these ideas and make sure I come back to them later.

BEGIN YOUR OWN CREATIVE JOURNAL 1. All you need is a notebook. It doesn't have to be expensive. Plain pages, from art supplies stores. A plain cover is good too because you can decorate it with a collage of meaningful images, words and objects. Spiral-bound is my choice as the pages lay flat when the book is open and it makes it easier to work with.

2. For my journals, I like to keep the cover fairly simple. You can decorate it with mulberry paper, sketches or images pasted down with PVA glue.

Faced with a blank journal it can be hard to know where to start. When I run my creative journaling courses I start with a photo of the journal creator as a child. Paste this into your journal and write phrases around the picture. What were your dreams? What did you want to be when you grew up? What is your favourite memory? What did you do for fun? Really take time to re-visit that child you once were. This sort of exercise helps to connect you with a time when you were creative every day. You made forts and camps out of sticks; you made models out of junk; you made gardens in dishes out of weeds and mud. Your imagination ruled your life - and you need that just as much when you are an adult.

The next page I ask people to create is A Bonfire of the Insecurities - tear pieces of craft paper to make a bonfire picture, and paste it on to a double page spread.

Then think about that awful little critical voice you hear in your head - the one that tells you that you aren't clever enough to go for that promotion; the one that tells you that you are failing as a parent because everybody else has it much better organised than you (and hand grinds their own organic baby food while making finger puppets from merino wool with cherubic-faced toddlers while you stuff your kids with Weetabix again before bundling them off to your Mum's as you run for the bus to work).

We aim to banish that nasty little voice by bringing it out and burning it on the bonfire!

After that - think about different areas of your life and go from there - a spread on your career; your dreams, your relationships: whatever you think of can be part of your journal.

? To help you to develop your own creative journal, come along to our Journaling Day on Sunday, July 15, 11am - 3pm. Cost pounds 20. Envisage the life you have always wanted through a creative journal ... then make it happen! Email lynn@celebratetheseasons.co.uk to book. Hear up-to-date news and share photos of your projects on our Facebook page facebook.com/CelebrateSeasons ? Lynn Huggins has written more than 300 books including many craft titles. She runs Celebrate the Seasons crafts and community arts in High Spen www.celebratetheseasons.co.uk

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IMAGINE Above, A Bonfire of the Insecurities page, and examples of other creative pages
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jul 7, 2012
Words:687
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